Mountain View
Smog Test only Center

Phone:
1 650 938 7664


Address:
571 W El Camino Real
Mountain View, CA. 94040

Hours:
Mon-Fri 8:00am - 6pm
Sat 8:00am - 4pm
Sun Closed


Mountain View Smog Test Only Center .

FAQ - Frequnetly Asked Questions

  1. Does my vehicle have to get a Smog Check?
  2. Why some vehicles are completely exempt?
  3. Why new vehicles exempt until their seventh year?
  4. What is the difference between Change of Ownership areas vs. Basic and Enhanced areas?
  5. Did you know that NO Smog Check required on sales within immediate family?
  6. For how long is a Smog Check certificate valid?
  7. Who is responsible for obtaining a Smog Check when a vehicle is sold?
  8. I recently smogged my vehicle; now I'm selling it. Do I need to smog it again?
  9. I bought a car but did not get a smog certificate. Now I need expensive repairs in order to register the vehicle. What should I do?
  10. I have a motor home. Is it safe to smog it on the dynamometer? What should I do?
  11. What Vehicle model years are required to get a biennial smog check?
  12. I have a vehicle that is six model years old or newer. My DMV registration
  13. I'm planning to register my vehicle as non-operational this time around. Do I still need a Smog Check?
  14. Why is my car being tested on new smog equipment?
  15. What is an Enhanced Area?
  16. Why are Smog Check stations using the new equipment to conduct the old two-speed idle test?
  17. What is a Gold Shield Station?
  18. What do I do if my car fails?
  19. What is a Gross Polluter?

Q:Does my vehicle have to get a Smog Check?

A: Not all vehicles must get a Smog Check. Additionally, some vehicles only need a Smog Check when they are being sold or being registered in California after previously being registered in another state. Whether or not a vehicle needs a Smog Check depends on the type of vehicle, the model year, and the area in which the vehicle is registered.

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  • Q: Why some vehicles are completely exempt?

    A: All 1975 and older model year vehicles are exempt from all aspects of the Smog Check program, but owners of these vehicles are required by law to keep their emissions systems intact. Vehicles built in 1975 for the 1976 model year are 1976 vehicles and must be tested accordingly.
  • Additionally, vehicles with diesel engines, vehicles with two-cycle engines, vehicles with engines smaller than 50 cubic inches of displacement, electric vehicles, and motorcycles are exempt from the Smog Check program.

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  • Q: Why new vehicles exempt until their seventh year?

    A: Vehicles six model years old and newer are not required to have a biennial Smog Check performed until their seventh year. However, these vehicles must have a Smog Check performed if the vehicle is sold or being registered in California for the first time during that time.

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  • Q: what is the difference between Change of Ownership areas vs. Basic and Enhanced areas?

    A: Most areas of the state require vehicles to have a Smog Check performed every two years, when being sold, and when being initially registered in California. These areas are referred to as the state's Basic and Enhanced Areas. However, Change of Ownership Areas only require a Smog Check when the vehicle is being sold or initially registered in California. You can determine the Smog Check area you are in by calling the Department of Consumer Affairs/Bureau of Automotive Repair toll-free at 1-800-952-5210.

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  • Q: Did you know that , NO Smog Check required on sales within immediate family?

    A: Section 4000.1 (d)(2) of the California Vehicle code exempts transfers from parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, siblings, or spouses from the smog inspection requirement.

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Q: For how long is a Smog Check certificate valid?

A: Section 44015 (e) of the California Health and Safety Code states that a Smog Check certificate of compliance or non-compliance is valid for 90 days.


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Q: Who is responsible for obtaining a Smog Check when a vehicle is sold?

A: Section 24007 (b)(2) of the Vehicle Code states it is the responsibility of the seller to provide a valid smog certificate at the time of delivery of the vehicle. There is no provision in the law to sell a vehicle "as is."

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Q: I recently smogged my vehicle; now I'm selling it. Do I need to smog it again?

A: According to Section 4000.1 (d)(1) of the California Vehicle Code, a car which has had a Smog Check and received a certificate of compliance in connection with an annual registration does not need to be smogged again when sold if the sale date is within 60 days

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Q: I bought a car but did not get a smog certificate. Now I need expensive repairs in order to register the vehicle. What should I do?

A: Contact the seller to see whether that person will work with you on repairs. If they are not willing to help you resolve the problem, your option is to pay for the repairs yourself and then attempt to recover those costs in court.


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Q: I have a motor home. Is it safe to smog it on the dynamometer? What should I do?

A: Any vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR; fully loaded weight) of 8500 pounds or more is excused from dynamometer testing. Your Smog Check technician will be able to give any such vehicle the two-speed idle test. Some motorhomes with a GVWR of less than 8500 pounds still may not be safe for dynamometer testing. If your Smog Check technician decides he or she cannot safely test your motorhome on the dynamometer, they should write that on your invoice. Then, call the Referee Scheduling Center at 800-622-7733 and make an appointment at the nearest Consumer Assistance and Referee Center. Bring your invoice. The referee will be able to give you the two-speed idle test.

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Q: What Vehicle model years are required to get a biennial smog check?

A: The 1976 model year is the earliest model year vehicle required to participate in the biennial Smog Check Program. Vehicles six years old and newer are not required to participate in the biennial Smog Check Program.

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Q: I have a vehicle that is six model years old or newer. My DMV registration
renewal notice says it must have Smog Check, but I thought it was exempt from the biennial Smog Check requirement.

A: A vehicle is excused from Smog Check until it is seven model years old. DMV computers are designed to recognize the exemption and process your renewal accordingly. Go back the DMV to resolve this problem. If you are unable to resolve the problem with DMV, the State Referee can help. Call the Referee Scheduling Center at 800-622-7733 and make an appointment at the nearest Referee facility. Note: A Smog Check certificate of compliance is required upon transfer of ownership for vehicles that are older than four model years.

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Q: I'm planning to register my vehicle as non-operational this time around. Do I still need a Smog Check?

A: No, the Smog Check is only for operational vehicles. However, if you miss your biennial Smog Check while the vehicle is non-operational, you will be required to get a smog inspection prior to bringing the vehicle back to operational status.

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Q: Why is my car being tested on new smog equipment?

A: The new equipment and the new test, which is performed under simulated driving conditions, is required by state law in the state's smoggiest regions (Enhanced Areas) in order to meet federal clean air standards. The new equipment tests for oxides of nitrogen (NOx), an important smog-causing compound. The old equipment did not test for NOx.

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Q: What is an Enhanced Area?

A: An Enhanced Area is one which has been designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an area which does not meet federal health standards for ozone.

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Q: Why are Smog Check stations using the new equipment to conduct the old two-speed idle test?

A: Not all vehicles are compatible with the new dynamometer. Vehicles with full-time four wheel drive, with non-disengageable traction control, or with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of greater than 8,500 pounds do not go on the dynamometer.

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Q: What is a Gold Shield Station

A: Gold Shield stations are licensed Smog Check test-and-repair stations that meet high performance standards and are certified by the state to guarantee their emissions-related repairs on Gross Polluters (but not limited too), the small percentage of vehicles that pollute the most.

Here is some more information...


Inadequate Repairs Cost the Consumer. Many vehicles that fail their Smog Check at Gross Polluter levels are not adequately repaired and require further repairs. Since a Gross Polluter must be repaired at a test-and-repair facility and certified at a separate Test-Only Station, inadequate repairs can cause these vehicles to go back and forth, or "ping-pong," between these different facilities, costing consumers time and money.

Help for the Consumer. The Gold Shield program combats "ping-ponging" by helping consumers identify Smog Check stations that guarantee Gross Polluters will be repaired right the first time or further repairs will be made at no cost.

The Consumer's Responsibility. When a Gross Polluter is brought into a Gold Shield station, the technician examines the vehicle and recommends necessary emissions-related repairs. If the vehicle owner does not agree to have these repairs made, the station will not be held responsible for any additional repairs that may be needed to certify the vehicle and bring it into compliance with state vehicle emissions requirements.

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Q: What do I do if my car fails?

A:
You have a few options if your vehicle fails a Smog Check.

  • You may have your vehicle repaired a State licensed Test-and-Repair Smog Station and we can RE-TEST your vehicle at a Test-Only Station once the appropriate repairs have been conducted for Free.
  • If your vehicle was identified as Gross Polluter, you are required under current law to have their vehicles repaired at Gold Shield Station and certified at a Test-Only station or authorized Gold Shield Stations.

  • For motorists who cannot afford to make repairs, there are three options under the Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) that offer some temporary financial relief.

Bottom line - a Smog Check inspection/certification is required in all areas when affected vehicle changes ownership or is registered in California for the first time.  Additionally, Basic and Enhanced Area requires inspection/certification every other registration renewal (biennally).


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Q: What is a Gross Polluter?

A: The Smog Check program has identified Gross Polluter (GP) vehicles as a significant source of smog emissions. Gross Polluter vehicles are chosen through these strategies:

  • Vehicles tested at licensed stations which exceed at least one of the gross polluter standards (twice the maximum emission limits)
  • Vehicles selected from the High Emitter Profile (HEP) database which have a high probability of failing the Smog Check inspection.

Once a vehicle is classified as a Gross Pollutter it has to initially be tested at a "Test-Only" inspection station. If the vehicle fails this inspection it must undergo repairs and return to a Test-only, Referee or CAP (Consumer Assistance Repair) station for certification.

Vehicles, which are not classified, as gross polluters, do not have to seek a Test-Only inspection and can visit any local smog station. Once again, your DMV documents will state which type of test your vehicle requires.


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